Vienna, 30 July 2013 – In his first reaction to the presidential elections held in Mali on Sunday 28 July, Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger praised the peaceful way in which the elections were conducted and the comparatively high voter turnout. According to Spindelegger, the news about the presidential elections give reason for hope, as a large number of people made use of their right to vote. The expectations as to voter turnout were clearly exceeded. "Despite the enormous challenges that the organisation of elections entailed, the people in Mali made use of their democratic right with great calm, patience and dignity. We owe them our greatest praise and respect for that", the Vice-Chancellor said.
"The high voter turnout illustrates the people's wish for democracy, rule of law, freedom and a peaceful future for Mali. The political leaders of Mali are now called upon to live up to these clear expectations", Spindelegger said and added that Austria contributes to the promotion of rule of law in Mali through its involvement in the EU Training Mission for the Malian Armed Forces. The teaching content of the Mission includes the protection of civilians as well as respect for human rights.
Contact:Federal Ministry forEuropean and International AffairsPress DepartmentTel.: ++43 (0) 50 1150-3320Fax: ++43 (0) 50 1159-213abti3(at)bmeia.gv.at